13 September 2021

Music Monday: Right Now

Well, I can't tell you why this song speaks to a project that I'm going to start working on soon because I am notoriously horrible with spoilers...but I can tell you that it is a YA book - a real one, not one that starts as YA and then becomes NA because I'm an old lady who thinks she is still in her late 20s - and that it is a fantasy series. 

But I heard it as I was running an errand yesterday and it hit me that this is the motivation for one of the MCs in this story, especially this line: "Miss the beat, you lose the rhythm / And nothing falls into place, no / Only missed by a fraction / Slipped a little off your pace, oh..." I mean that line could be written on my tombstone or be found if you looked me up in the dictionary. That's my whole life, right there...and that's her life too.

Crap. Spoilers. Anyway...while I'm not a fan of what I like to call Van Haggar, the music in this song is all Eddie Van Halen and his amazing skill on the piano and guitar, and when this mysterious YA story becomes a movie this song will be in the soundtrack, no doubt. 




,/center.
Right Now
by Van Halen

Don't want to wait 'til tomorrow
Why put it off another day?
One more walk through problems
Built-up and stands in our way, ah
One step ahead, one step behind me
Now you gotta run to get even
Make future plans or dream about yesterday, hey
C'mon turn, turn this thing around
, hey
It's your tomorrow
(Right now),
C'mon, it's everything
(Right now),
Catch a magic moment, do it
Right here and now
It means everything
Miss the beat, you lose the rhythm
And nothing falls into place, no
Only missed by a fraction
Slipped a little off your pace, oh
The more things you get, the more you want
Just trade in one for the other
Workin' so hard, to make it easier, whoa
Got to turn, c'mon turn this thing around
, hey
It's your tomorrow
(Right now)
C'mon, it's everything
(Right now)
Catch that magic moment, do it
Right here and now
It means everything
It's enlightened me, right now
What are you waitin' for?
Oh, yeah, right now
, hey
It's your tomorrow
(Right now)
C'mon, it's everything
(Right now)
Catch that magic moment, and do it right, right now
Oh, right now
It's what's happening
Right here and now
Right now
It's right now
Oh
Tell me, what are you waiting for?
Turn this thing around

06 September 2021

Music Monday: An Early Throwback Thursday

So I sat down last night to find something to watch on tv and stumbled across one of my favorite movies from my younger days, The Lost Boys. While there are cultural things that were lost on me as a teenager not growing up on the West Coast, I was mesmerized. To this day I still am, even though I've seen it so many times that I know all the words.

I still say good dog when Nanook knocks the vampire into the bathtub.

So this just makes sense that I would find this movie after discovering an old manuscript in my hard drive and thinking for a few minutes about trying my hand at writing paranormal romance. 

You will all be glad to know that I'm sticking to fade to black for now.


Cry Little Sister (Theme from "The Lost Boys")
by Gerard McMahon

Last fire will rise behind those eyes
Black house will rock, blind boys don't lie
Immortal fear, that voice so clear
Through broken walls, that scream I hear


Cry, little sister (Thou shall not fall)
Come, come to your brother (Thou shall not die)
Unchain me, sister (Thou shall not fear)
Love is with your brother (Thou shall not kill)

Blue masquerade, strangers look on
When will they learn this loneliness?
Temptation heat beats like a drum
Deep in your veins, I will not lie

Little sister (Thou shall not fall)
Come, come to your brother (Thou shall not die)
Unchain me, sister (Thou shall not fear)
Love is with your brother (Thou shall not kill)

My Shangri-La, I can't forget
Why you were mine, I need you now

Cry, little sister (Thou shall not fall)
Come, come to your brother (Thou shall not die)
Unchain me, sister (Thou shall not fear)
Love is with your brother (Thou shall not kill)

Cry, little sister (Thou shall not fall)
Come, come to your brother (Thou shall not die)
Unchain me, sister (Thou shall not fear)
Love is with your brother (Thou shall not kill)

Cry, little sister (Thou shall not fall)
(Thou shall not die)
(Thou shall not fear)
Love is with your brother (Thou shall not kill)

30 August 2021

Music Monday: It Will Never Be Enough

So I'm on what I like to call the Clock App (algorithms be damned) or, as it is actually called, TikTok, and I joined last year during lockdown because I wanted something to do. I expected funny cat videos and a few really cringeworthy dance challenges and don't get me wrong, I found that...and more. There are hashtag communities there, of like-minded folks, such as #booktok and #writertok and so forth, and so many talented cosplayers and actors and the like.

Lately, there has been a lovely trend of readers making videos to try to speak to the reason why we read adventure and fantasy books. Most of the time you see a person reading at the beginning of the video with someone else asking (or the words are written on the screen), "why do you read so much?" And the terribly talented person goes on to show clips from or cosplay characters from several well-known movies/books/tv shows, often becoming the heroes and acting out their lives...because "...I know now that this world will never be enough for me." (by TikTok User @montropolis)

This is why I write, y'all. This is why I continue to write, to quote "Hamilton," like I'm running out of time - this world will NEVER be enough. This song nails it. (Also, I love Kelly Clarkson's version from The Greatest Showman Reimagined, so that's the one I chose.)




Never Enough (from The Greatest Showman Reimagined)
by Justin Paul / Benj Pasek

I'm tryin' to hold my breath
Let it stay this way
Can't let this moment end
You set off a dream in me
Getting louder now
Can you hear it echoing?

Take my hand
Will you share this with me?
'Cause darling, without you

All the shine of a thousand spotlights
All the stars we steal from the night sky
Will never be enough, never be enough

Towers of gold are still too little
These hands could hold the world, but it'll
Never be enough, never be enough for me

Never, never
Never, never
Never, for me, for me
Never enough, never enough, never enough
For me, for me, for me

All the shine of a thousand spotlights
All the stars we steal from the night sky
Will never be enough, never be enough

Towers of gold are still too little
These hands could hold the world, but it'll
Never be enough, never be enough for me

Never, never
Never, never
Never, for me, for me
Never enough, never, never
Never enough, never, never
Never enough
For me, for me, for me

27 August 2021

Next time, on Brave Lettuce...

Image by Darwin Laganzon from Pixabay 

So, there are two projects on the horizon that I want to tell you about - two upcoming novels, that are special...SO special to me, but in very different ways.

The first one is special because it is at least three years in the actual writing, but probably ten years in the making. When I lived in West Yorkshire for two years, I took copious mental notes about the landscape, the architecture, and the people, knowing that there was a novel in there somewhere. Then I discovered steampunk and thought I could write a novel in that genre. Spoiler alert? I was wrong. However...I did manage to cobble together a story involving dodgy Irish mythology, an underwater gorge that has killed people (that part is true), and two enterprising Victorian sisters who happen to have very large dogs and solve crimes.

No? Okay, how about this: A magical detective tale set in Victorian Yorkshire. Irish mythology meets the Industrial North through a deadly underwater gorge. Sisters Lucy and Annie must find their roots to save West Riding from an ancient threat. Better?

Anyway, my first Luminous Beings novel called "Strid" will be opening for pre-order on the first of October. Watch this space for more information and ordering links to Amazon.


The second piece that is coming out in November is special to me because it revisits Orana and introduces readers to one of my favorite characters I think I've ever written. She was a secondary character in the Nature Walker Trilogy, though her actions (under the control of everyone's least favorite wizard, Taeben) brought about the resolution of that story arc and brought Gin and Sath into their roles as Guardians. Now that they are off saving the world, again, I thought it was time for my readers to get to know Tairneanach a little better. 

Born into power and forged by betrayal, Tairn's life has blown off course more often than it has kept true. She survived retribution for her role in the death of the Qatu'anari Princess Royal by agreeing to live in the far northern citadel of the dwarves, Thror Mydin, where Tee could keep an eye on her.

A decision to take a well-deserved break from her nanny duties leads Tairn to a chance meeting with an old friend on the road to the Outpost. From there, she joins a rescue mission and goes up against a demigoddess bent on resurrecting an ancient evil and enslaving the above-ground citizens of Orana. All in a day's side trip, right?

The second in the Guardians of Orana series, "Red" will be open for ebook pre-order on the first of November, so watch this space for more info for that book as well.

23 August 2021

Music Monday - Tomorrow is Today

So back when I was in college, I was in a play my senior year called "The Shadowbox." The director chose wonderful music for the opening, intermission, etc. and most of it dealt with the same theme of the play - a look at families in a hospice, each dealing with impending death in different ways. I didn't know anything about anything back then, but boy did I think I was ready to play a 40-something mother of a teenager who was visiting a husband dying in hospice care. 

This song drifts in and out of my life, as do my other two favorites from that play, but today this one spoke to me about my upcoming Nanowrimo project - the sequel to Rift, and the continuing story of a young woman going too far into her gaming universe to be able to hang on to her real life. I've been thinking about Em and Alex a lot lately, and Lex, Alex's avatar in the game and alter ego. And this line sort of jumped out at me in the car: And someday, when your dreams are leaving you, I'll still believe in you. There's sort of a Peter Pan and Tinkerbell quality about videogame characters - do they exist when no one is playing the game? Do they remember things and people? 

If Em stops seeing Lex as a sentient being, does he revert to binary code?

Anyway, this is from what I think to be one of Billy Joel's greatest albums, Cold Spring Harbor, and it always takes me back to a dusty theatre in a small college in Tennessee...I wonder if my Maggie is still walking the boards and still grieving a life she hasn't quite lost yet?


Tomorrow is Today
by Billy Joel

I've been livin' for the moment
But I just can't have my way
And I'm afraid to go to sleep
'Cause tomorrow is today

People tell me life is sweeter
But I don't hear what they say
Nothing comes to change my life
So tomorrow is today

I don't care to know the hour
'Cause it's passing anyway
I don't have to see tomorrow
'Cause I saw it yesterday

So I listen for an answer
But the feeling seems to stay
And what's the use of always dreaming
If tomorrow is today

Still I'm waiting for the morning
But it feels so far away
And you don't need the love I'm giving
So tomorrow is today

Oh, my, I'm goin' to the river
Gonna take a ride and the lord will deliver me
Made my bed, I'm gonna lie in it
If you don't come, sure gonna die in it

Too late, too much given
I've seen a lot of life and I'm damn sick of livin' it
I keep hopin' that you will pass my way

And some day if your dreams are leavin' you
I'll still believe in you

I don't care to know the hour
'Cause it's passing anyway
I don't have to see tomorrow
'Cause I saw it yesterday

Though I'm living and I'm singing
And although my hands still play
Soon enough it will all be over
'Cause tomorrow is today

16 August 2021

Music Monday: It's come to this

 Y'all, anyone that knows me knows that this is one of my favorite songs. Back in the day when I was awake into the wee hours running around Norrath (Everquest), I always had music playing alongside the voices of my group on Teamspeak. Quite frequently this song was in the mix, and it will always remind me of charging up to an angry NPC...as well as swapping out my heals as fast as I could to keep the fighters propped up.

But now it holds a different place in my heart as the absolute theme song for my Nature Walker Trilogy, as well as a fantastic driving song...as long as I have cruise control set. I'm a GenX 80's child, and not ashamed to have this tune blasting. I can't believe I didn't have this one as a Music Monday before!

(Before any of you come at me for misogynistic tendencies...in my head, it's often she or they rather than he...)



Holding Out for a Hero
by Bonnie Tyler

Where have all the good men gone and where are all the Gods?
Where's the street wise Hercules to fight the rising odds?
Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and I turn and I dream of what I need

I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night
He's gotta be strong and he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light
He's gotta be sure and it's gotta be soon
And he's gotta be larger than life, larger than life

Somewhere after midnight in my wildest fantasy
Somewhere just beyond my reach there's someone reaching back for me
Racing on the thunder and rising with the heat
It's gonna take a Superman to sweep me off my feet

I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night
He's gotta be strong and he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light
He's gotta be sure and it's gotta be soon
And he's gotta be larger than life
I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night

Up where the mountains meet the heavens above
Out where the lightning splits the sea
I could swear that there's someone somewhere watching me

Through the wind and the chill and the rain
And the storm and the flood
I can feel his approach like a fire in my blood

I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night
He's gotta be strong and he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light
He's gotta be sure and it's gotta be soon
And he's gotta be larger than life

I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night

09 August 2021

Music Monday - Wherever Is Your Heart

I'm already thinking about the next Nano event, and I'm leaving Orana behind for awhile, so I'm looking at human relationships rather than elves and Qatu and bored deities. This song speaks to a very basic part of a healthy relationship, be it romantic or platonic - the need to have a home, whatever that looks like, and what makes something/somwhere home. 

Also, y'all - Brandi Carlile. If you haven't discovered her yet, you are in for a treat. Enjoy.


"Wherever Is Your Heart"
By Brandi Carlile

I think it's time we found a way back home
You lose so many things you love as you grow
I missed the days when I was just a kid
My fear became my shadow, I swear it did

Wherever is your heart I call home
Wherever is your heart I call home
Though your feet may take you far from me, I know
Wherever is your heart I call home

You made me feel like I was always falling
Always falling down without a place to land
Somewhere in the distance I heard you calling
Oh it hurts so bad to let go of your hand

Wherever is your heart I call home
Wherever is your heart I call home
Though your feet may take you far from me, I know
Wherever is your heart I call home

Even when you're high, you can get low
Even with your friends you love, you're still alone
We always find the darkest place to go
God forgive our minds, we were born to roam

Wherever is your heart I call home
Wherever is your heart I call home
Though your feet may take you far from me, I know
Wherever is your heart I call home

Oh God forgive my mind, oh God forgive my mind
When I come home, when I come home
Oh God forgive my mind
There's a road that's long and winding, it hollers home
I'm calling home

Oh God forgive my mind, oh God forgive my mind
When I come home, when I come home
Oh God forgive my mind, oh God forgive my mind
When I come home, when I come home

Wherever is your heart I call home
Wherever is your heart I call home
Though your feet may take you far from me, I know
Wherever is your heart I call home

Wherever is your heart I call home
Wherever is your heart I call home
Though your feet may take you far from me, I know
Wherever is your heart I call home

02 August 2021

Last Minute Music Monday: You’ll Thank Me Later

Just watch it, that's all I ask...




Rockstar Sea Shanty
By Nickelback

I'm through with standing in line to pubs I'll never get in
It's like the bottom of the ninth and I'm never gonna win
Life hasn't turned out quite the way
I want it to be (tell me what you want)
I want a huge sail that'll hold the squalls
And a big black ship with some cannonballs
Don't wanna join Davy Jones twenty thousand
Leagues under the sea (so how you gonna do it?)
I'm gonna trade this life for fortune and fame
I'd even roll my bed and change my name, we...
We all just wanna be big rockstars
Live in hilltop houses driving 15 cars
The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap
We all stay skinny 'cause we just won't eat
And we'll hang out in the coolest bars
In the VIP's with the movie stars
Every good gold digger is gonna wind up there
Every Playboy Bunny with her bleached blonde hair
And we'll hide out in the private rooms
With the latest dictionary and today's who's who
They'll get you anything with that evil smile
Everybody's got a rum dealer on speed dial
Hey, I wanna be a rockstar
Gonna sing those songs that offend the censors
Singing those songs that offend the censors
Popping my pills from a Pez dispenser (rockstars don't do mornings)
Get washed up sailors writing all our songs
Get washed up sailors writing all our songs
Lipsync them every night so I don't get them wrong
We'll sing them dusk till morning, we
We all just wanna be big rockstars
Live in hilltop houses driving 15 cars
The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap
We'll all stay skinny 'cause we just won't eat
And we'll hang out in the coolest bars
In the VIP's with the movie stars
Every good gold digger's gonna wind up there
Every Playboy Bunny with her bleached blonde hair
And we'll hide out in the private rooms
With the latest dictionary and today's who's who
They'll get you anything with that evil smile
Everybody's got a rum dealer on speed dial
Hey, I wanna be a rockstar
Everybody's got a rum dealer on speed dial
Hey, I wanna be a rockstar

31 July 2021

Notes from Exile...We had ONE job

Y'all. We were so close. SO close. It was really looking like we would turn this pandemic corner to find the light at the end of the 16 month long tunnel. We had two jobs...well, really, one job.

Get vaccinated. Man, I hate needles and I did it. We talked about this. I had reactions afterward. I powered through it. And you can call this post virtue signalling if you like - I call it letting folks know that I did all of this so that we ALL can get back to normal, not just so I can take off my mask and I can go back to activities. It isn't an I, after all. It's a we. We want to get back to normal.

But we apparently aren't as anxious for that as I am. Because we haven't all* gotten vaccinated. We continue to demand to be maskless. We continue to deny that this virus can kill us. We refuse to stop gathering in large groups and carrying on with our lives as though nothing has changed.

And we continue to ignore that herd immunity doesn't work on a virus that can mutate to continue to spread. 

So now, because we don't seem to care about the us as much as the I, we are seeing cases spike again. We see people getting so sick they have to be hospitalised again. We see health care workers pushed to the brink...again. 

We the people becomes every person for themselves...and if I sound even more preachy than normal, it's because I'm angry. The news is full of politicians - not epidemiologists, but politicians - like the Governor of my state that made it illegal to have a mask mandate. Illegal to do something that hurts no one* but will save everyone. 

Please. Get the vaccine if you can. Wear a mask if you are able. If you can't do those things, stay home. It is so simple. Think about someone other than you or yours. 



*I am not referring to anyone who, due to age or medical/health condition cannot get the vaccine or wear a mask. You are part of why I got it, and why everyone should that is able.


19 July 2021

Music Monday: Yeah, I know, Enterprise...

 I heard something recently that has stuck with my little nerdy heart. I am a fan of the Star Trek franchise more so than others because at its core, it has HOPE. Not dystopian apocalyptic horror that has to be overcome, but hope. I like that. 

This song speaks to me on that level. You can tell me till you're blue that this is the worst series theme song to go along with the worst series (I've heard that almost verbatim) but I don't care - it is one of my favorites because it has so much of that hope that I mentioned. Enterprise was, in the chronological timeline, near the beginning. It was not far out from the firsts - the first space travel, the first contact, and so many others. And please...Hoshi Sato is who I want to be when I grow up so why wouldn't I love it?

Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam...but for now, join me in appreciating this expression of hope. 


Where My Heart Will Take Me
by Russell Watson and Diane Warren

It's been a long road
Getting from there to here
It's been a long time
But my time is finally near

And I can feel the change in the wind right now
Nothing's in my way
And they're not gonna hold me down no more
No, they're not gonna hold me down

'Cause I've got faith of the heart
I'm going where my heart will take me
I've got faith to believe
I can do anything
I've got strength of the soul
And no one's gonna bend or break me
I can reach any star
I've got faith
I've got faith, faith of the heart

It's been a long night
Trying to find my way
Been through the darkness
Now I finally have my day

And I will see my dream come alive at last
I will touch the sky
And they're not gonna hold me down no more
No, they're not gonna change my mind

'Cause I've got faith of the heart
I'm going where my heart will take me
I've got faith to believe
I can do anything
I've got strength of the soul
And no one's gonna bend or break me
I can reach any star
I've got faith, faith of the heart

I've known the wind so cold, I've seen the darkest days
But now the winds I feel, are only winds of change
I've been through the fire and I've been through the rain
But I'll be fine

'Cause I've got faith of the heart
I'm going where my heart will take me
I've got faith to believe
I can do anything
I've got strength of the soul
And no one's gonna bend or break me
I can reach any star
'Cause I've got faith of the heart

I'm going where my heart will take me
I've got strength of the soul
No one's gonna bend or break me
I can reach any star
I've got faith
I've got faith, faith of the heart
It's been a long road

12 July 2021

Music Monday: As

Just like last Monday, I can't say anything about this without spoiling something. But I can say that it makes me think not only of the current WIP but of several relationships in my novels. Y'all, I didn't set out to write romance novels at all, but my characters fall in love with each other and then what am I supposed to do? 

I'll tell you what...enjoy one of the most perfect love songs ever, so I'm sharing it with you here.


As
by Stevie Wonder

As around the sun the earth knows she's revolving
And the rosebuds know to bloom in early May
Just as hate knows love's the cure
You can rest your mind assure
That I'll be loving you always

As now can't reveal the mystery of tomorrow
But in passing will grow older every day
Just as all is born is new
Do know what I say is true
That I'll be loving you always

Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky (Always)
Until the ocean covers every mountain high (Always)
Until the dolphin flies and parrots live at sea (Always)
Until we dream of life and life becomes a dream

Did you know that true love asks for nothing?
Her acceptance is the way we pay
Did you know that life has given love a guarantee?
To last through forever and another day

Just as time knew to move on since the beginning
And the seasons know exactly when to change
Just as kindness knows no shame
Know through all your joy and pain
That I'll be loving you always

As today I know I'm living but tomorrow
Could make me the past but that I mustn't fear
For I'll know deep in my mind
The love of me I've left behind
'Cause I'll be loving you always

Until the day is night and night becomes the day (Always)
Until the trees and seas just up and fly away (Always)
Until the day that eight times eight times eight is four (Always)
Until the day that is the day that are no more
(Did you know that you're loved by somebody?)

Until the day the earth starts turning right to left (Always)
Until the earth just for the sun denies itself (I'll be loving you forever)
Until dear Mother Nature says her work is through (Always)
Until the day that you are me and I am you (Always)
Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky
Until the ocean covers every mountain high (Always)

We all know sometimes life's hates and troubles
Can make you wish you were born in another time and space
But you can bet you life times that and twice its double
That God knew exactly where he wanted you to be placed

So make sure when you say you're in it but not of it
You're not helping to make this earth a place sometimes called Hell
Change your words into truths and then change that truth into love
And maybe our children's grandchildren
And their great-great grandchildren will tell
I'll be loving you

Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky (Loving you)
Until the ocean covers every mountain high (Loving you)
Until the dolphin flies and parrots live at sea (Loving you)
Until we dream of life and life becomes a dream (Be loving you)
Until the day is night and night becomes the day (Loving you)
Until the trees and seas up, up and fly away (Loving you)
Until the day that eight times eight times eight is four (Loving you)

Until the day that is the day that are no more (Loving you)
Until the day the earth starts turning right to left (Be loving you)
Until the earth just for the sun denies itself (Loving you)
Until dear Mother Nature says her work is through (Loving you)
Until the day that you are me and I am you (Now ain't that loving you)
Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky (Ain't that loving you)
Until the ocean covers every mountain high (And I've got to say always)

Until the dolphin flies and parrots live at sea (Always)
Until we dream of life and life becomes a dream (Always)
Until the day is night and night becomes the day (Always)
Until the trees and seas just up and fly away (Always)
Until the day that eight times eight times eight is four

Until the day that is the day that are no more (Always)
Until the day the earth starts turning right to left
Until the earth just for the sun denies itself (Always)
Until dear Mother Nature says her work is through
Until the day that you are me and I am you
Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky
Until the ocean covers every mountain high

Until the dolphin flies and parrots live at sea
Until we dream of life and life becomes a dream
Until the day is night and night becomes the day
Until the trees and seas just up and fly away
Until the day that eight times eight times eight is four

Until the day that is the day that are no more
Until the day the earth starts turning right to left
Until the earth just for the sun denies itself
Until dear Mother Nature says her work is through
Until the day that you are me and I am you

05 July 2021

Music Monday: Someone to You

So I mentioned already that this month's Camp Nano is a revision of a manuscript I wrote during a past nano month and a continuation of my Guardians of Orana series, right? Yeah. So there are some things that have to be worked out other than the main conflict (a series of murders that lead to a cult) that I can't talk about because they are spoilery for the one I've just gotten back from the best beta reader turned developmental editor ever...so, yeah. Just know that this is a fantastic song and I heard it this morning and thought, "This is perfect for NAMES REDACTED TO AVOID SPOILERS."

It's also a pretty boppy tune, with a catchy hook and a story that could be an everyman...and elf...and gnome...and REDACTED TO AVOID SPOILERS. Dang it. Enjoy.


Someone to You
by BANNERS

I don't wanna die or fade away
I just wanna be someone
I just wanna be someone
Dive and disappear without a trace
I just wanna be someone
Well, doesn't everyone?
And if you feel the great dividing
I wanna be the one you're guiding
'Cause I believe that you could lead the way

I just wanna be somebody to someone, oh
I wanna be somebody to someone, oh
I never had nobody and no road home
I wanna be somebody to someone
And if the sun starts setting, the sky goes cold
Then if the clouds get heavy and start to fall
I really need somebody to call my own
I wanna be somebody to someone
Someone to you
Someone to you
Someone to you
Someone to you (someone to you)

I don't even need to change the world (change, change the world)
I'll make the moon shine just for your view
I'll make the starlight circle the room (circle the room)
And if you feel like night is falling
I wanna be the one you're calling
'Cause I believe that you could lead the way

I just wanna be somebody to someone, oh (somebody)
I wanna be somebody to someone, oh
I never had nobody and no road home (I don't have)
I wanna be somebody to someone (somebody)
And if the sun starts setting, the sky goes cold
Then if the clouds get heavy and start to fall
I really need somebody to call my own
I wanna be somebody to someone
Someone to you
Someone to you
Someone to you
Someone to you

The kingdom come, the rise, the fall
The setting sun above it all

I just wanna be somebody to you
I just wanna be somebody to someone, oh
I wanna be somebody to someone, oh
I never had nobody and no road home
I wanna be somebody to someone
And if the sun starts setting, the sky goes cold
Then if the clouds get heavy and start to fall
I really need somebody to call my own
I wanna be somebody to someone
Someone to you
Someone to you
Someone to you
Someone to you
Someone to you

28 June 2021

Music Monday: Set Fire to the Rain

So, Camp Nanowrimo starts again in a few days and I am again cheating a bit and working on a rewrite of the third Guardians of Orana novel that still does not have an official title. The overarching story involves a temple in Calder's Port that honors the god of justice, Indarr, and how the temple's brothers seem to have become less of an order/militia and more of a cult. Murders happen in places where the initiates have been. The sister temple to Isona in the city joins the hunt for the killer but falls victim to the same cult - so the Guardians call in the Fabled Ones to work out what is going on on the docks of the southern port. What they discover may be more than even the Guardians can handle. 

This song spoke to me of a related story arc within this novel -  but once I heard this version, I could see all of those arcs coming together under the seemingly benign banners of the Temples to Indarr and Isona, as well as nods to the twin deities they worship.


Set Fire to the Rain
Original song by Adele, Cover by No Resolve

I set fire to the rain
To the rain, to the rain

I let it fall, my heart
And as it fell, you rose to claim it
It was dark and I was over
Until you kissed my lips, and you saved me
My hands, they were strong
But my knees were far too weak
To stand in your arms
Without falling to your feet

But there's a side to you
That I never knew, never knew
All the things you'd say
They were never true, never true
And the games you'd play
You would always win, always win

But I set fire to the rain
Watched it pour as I touched your face
Well, it burned while I cried
'Cause I heard it screaming out your name
Your name

When laying with you
I could stay there
And close my eyes, feel you here forever
You and me together, nothing is better

'Cause there's a side to you
That I never knew, never knew
All the things you'd say
They were never true, never true
And the games you'd play
You would always win, always win

But I set fire to the rain
Watched it pour as I touched your face
Well, it burned while I cried
'Cause I heard it screaming out your name
Your name
I set fire to the rain
And I threw us into the flames
When we fell, something died
'Cause I knew that that was the last time
The last time

Sometimes I wake up by the door
That heart you caught must be waiting for you
Even now when we're already over
I can't help myself from looking for you

But I set fire to the rain
Watched it pour as I touch your face
Well, it burned while I cried
'Cause I heard it screaming out your name
Your name
I set fire to the rain
And I threw us into the flames
When we fell, something died
'Cause I knew that that was the last time
The last time

Oh-oh, no
Let it burn, oh
Let it burn
Let it burn

21 June 2021

Anyone - Demi Lovato (Lyrics)

I heard this song first on "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist" which I have talked about before here - this show just gets better and better and more painful to watch. And while I love the Skylar Astin version from the show, this one by the original artist is just like that show...almost too painful to watch, but so beautiful that you must bear witness. You MUST. Demi Lovato has been through so much that they deserve for us to hear them sing this song in their own voice, and it is beautiful.

It is speaking to me as well in terms of my Nano for July. When everything has been taken from Elys, things that she didn't even know that she had...what is left? Who is there to pick her up when everyone is gone? (I promise, I'm still a fantasy writer, but I'm driven by my characters and their stories as well...)


Anyone
by Demi Lovato


I tried to talk to my piano
I tried to talk to my guitar
Talked to my imagination
Confided into alcohol
I tried and tried and tried some more
Told secrets 'til my voice was sore
Tired of empty conversation
'Cause no one hears me anymore

A hundred million stories
And a hundred million songs
I feel stupid when I sing
Nobody's listening to me
Nobody's listening
I talk to shooting stars
But they always get it wrong
I feel stupid when I pray
So, why am I praying anyway?
If nobody's listening

Anyone, please send me anyone
Lord, is there anyone?
I need someone, oh
Anyone, please send me anyone
Lord, is there anyone?
I need someone

I used to crave the world's attention
I think I cried too many times
I just need some more affection
Anything to get me by

A hundred million stories
And a hundred million songs
I feel stupid when I sing
Nobody's listening to me
Nobody's listening
I talk to shooting stars
But they always get it wrong
I feel stupid when I pray
Why the fuck am I praying anyway?
If nobody's listening

Anyone, please send me anyone
Lord, is there anyone?
I need someone, oh
Anyone, please send me anyone
Oh, Lord, is there anyone?
I need someone
Oh, anyone, I need anyone
Oh, anyone, I need someone

A hundred million stories
And a hundred million songs
I feel stupid when I sing
Nobody's listening to me
Nobody's listening

14 June 2021

Music Monday: Better Days

June is hard, y'all. My dad's birthday and my parent's wedding anniversary are both in June, and I'm still not far enough out that I can be certain that I WON'T burst into tears at the thought of either. On the good side, though, my Bryn turns 8 the day before my dad's birthday which is also Hubs's Welcome to the Thunderdome Day ie he officially began Life as a Permanent Resident in the US. I remember how pleased my dad was to "get a son-in-law" for his birthday...we'd been married for 2.5 years already, but the fact that Hubs now lived in the US was so important to both my parents. I really think they liked him better than they did me...or they were just glad that I wouldn't be whining about how much I missed him anymore. One or the other.

This song isn't from that era of my life, but it does speak to me about this very tumultuous month - as well as to my July Camp Nanowrimo project which sees two of my characters fight to find their way back to each other when they don't even know that together is where they were. Yep, vague, I know. 

They keep fighting the good fight as they always have but something is different. All they know is that maybe one day that weird awkwardness between them will fade, that strange longing for someone that they can't quite place will ease, and those all too familiar moments will finally make sense. Just a chance that maybe they'll find better days...



Better Days
by Goo Goo Dolls

And you asked me what I want this year
And I try to make this kind and clear
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days
'Cause I don't need boxes wrapped in strings
And designer love and empty things
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days

So take these words and sing out loud
'Cause everyone is forgiven now
'Cause tonight's the night the world begins again

I need some place simple where we could live
And something only you can give
And that's faith and trust and peace while we're alive
And the one poor child who saved this world
And there's ten million more who probably could
If we all just stopped and said a prayer for them

So take these words and sing out loud
'Cause everyone is forgiven now
'Cause tonight's the night the world begins again

I wish everyone was loved tonight
And somehow stop this endless fight
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days

So take these words and sing out loud
'Cause everyone is forgiven now
'Cause tonight's the night the world begins again

'Cause tonight's the night the world begins again

07 June 2021

Music Monday: Maps...to the Future

I'm still in recovery mode from ConCarolinas this past weekend. What a great experience! What that means is that my Music Monday post is late...and this song is very appropriate to how I'm feeling after that experience. "This is the way back home..." This weekend was the way back home to who I am when I'm not stressed out, when I'm a writer, when I can chat with someone in my second language...it was good for my soul, and while I had my doubts I really proud of myself for going. 

I was on a panel about the songs we use in our writing, and this one also speaks to me about my Orana Chronicles characters and their journeys...especially one very special Clawsharp. No spoilers, though...at least not yet.

So please enjoy Ireland's Eurovision entry for 2021 (did you really think I'd be over that so soon? Please, ask my roommates from this weekend how many times I mentioned watching the Fire Saga movie or just a rerun of Eurovision!), Maps by Lesley Roy.



Maps
by Lesley Roy

I'm gonna let down all the armor
Let out the power that I've been hiding
Not afraid of the monsters, of the nightmares
That I've been fighting

Easy to run, harder to stay
Finding colours in the grey
Thought I was done, but I got it wrong
I fell twice, I'm twice as strong

I've been searching all the wrong places
I've been trying too many faces
Only one way to go
This is the way back home
I've been searching all the wrong places
I've been trying too many faces
Only one way to go
This is the way back home

I had to take all of the long ways
All of the wrong ways
'Cause I couldn't see
All the signs, all the mistakes
Pointing one way to get back to me

Easy to run, harder to stay
Finding colours in the grey
Thought I was done, but I got it wrong
I fell twice, I'm twice as strong

I've been searching all the wrong places
I've been trying too many faces
Only one way to go
This is the way back home
I've been searching all the wrong places
I've been trying too many faces
Only one way to go
This is the way back home

My soul is a map, my heart is a compass
I am the road
There's only one way to go
This is the way back home

My soul is a map, my heart is a compass
I am the road
There's only one way to go
This is the way back home

I've been searching all the wrong places
I've been trying too many faces
Only one way to go
This is the way back home
I've been searching all the wrong places
I've been trying too many faces (I've been trying)
Only one way to go
This is the way back home

31 May 2021

Not a Music Monday: A Memory Pivot

Early Poster of the Cast of Friends

So, I somehow forgot that today was Monday. I was behind on my #onepanelvss until late into the afternoon. I kept thinking it was Sunday and wondering why Hubs hadn't called his family yet. I kept forgetting it was Memorial Day because, for us, it is Get Ready for the Deck Guy to come measure and help us plan our deck reno.

So no music today. Instead, this is The One Where Nancy Remembers, also known as I watched the Friends Reunion and laughed and cried...and finally understood why that show was and is such an important part of my life.

Is it problematic? Sure - most shows from that time period are, especially sitcoms like Friends. Could the cast have been more diverse? Of course it could have. Is it a product of its time? Absolutely. And do I love it, even though there are episodes I won't watch for some of the reasons I've just listed? YES.

Friends premiered on NBC in September of 1994. I premiered in my First Adult Job/Internship in June of 1994. I was just a bit younger than the characters in the show, but what they were experiencing was, as one of the creators said in the Reunion show, that time when your friends are your family. I was firmly in that age group at the time.

I had a family. They lived in Georgia and I lived in West Virginia. For a year, I had friends that were far, far away, and I was the loneliest I think I've ever been any time before or since during that year. So I decided to try this show that I'd seen advertised (because TV was my outlet, don't judge me) and at first, I hated it. I hated it for reminding me that all my friends were in Georgia and Tennessee and Ohio and everywhere that I wasn't. But I stuck with it, and soon I could see bits of all my friends in these characters that the six actors brought to life, and as cheesy as it sounds, I didn't feel so alone.

In fact, one of the Friends fans that spoke about the impact the show had on her said that she didn't have family, but these six people became her family. That's what it was for me, and that's why I get teary still at the last episode. I am blogging about it now, because if I try to talk about it, well, could there be louder ugly crying?

So I get that maybe it hits differently if you are watching now, in your late 20s and early 30s, and are trying to make it fit into your life and your world. I know that it is dated and that some of it is more than cringe-worthy. Thankfully, we are more aware now. Our world is so much bigger than it was...wow, this is hard...25 years ago. I don't want to go back to any of that.

But I won't apologize for putting that show on and laughing until I cry at some of the bits or remembering being a scared 22-year-old sitting in an apartment in West Virginia, watching a group of friends and feeling not quite so disconnected from the life I'd known and the life I wanted for myself for a half-hour on Thursdays. I can look back at her, and see that she eventually got her own Central Perk, her own home, and friends that are her family.

24 May 2021

Eurovision 2013: Loreen - Euphoria - Opening Act (1st Semi-Final)


(Here's Loreen with all those Swedish Deaf and Hearing kids, as well as one of the most beautiful opening sequences I've seen for a Eurovision broadcast - it really shows how this contest brings all of Europe together, and I am here for that.)

Music Monday: One more from Eurovision...

Right, so, Eurovision. An epic part of my life, for just over a decade now. An insane amount of talent, bravery, creativity, and camp all shoved into one glitter-filled week and three amazing nights. After the pandemic canceled Eurovision 2020, all of Europe (and Australia, because why not I guess?) turned out this week for the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam. The Grand Final was just last night and I'm still reeling - y'all, this is the highlight of my year in a lot of ways. Keep your Superbowl and your Award Season and just give me a bunch of European artists (and, as I mentioned before, Australia because...well, it's Eurovision) each with a song to sing and I am THERE. 

Today's Music Monday is not from this past weekend's contest because most of those haven't been uploaded to YouTube yet AND I was not pleased with the result so I'm still tending to that wound for a bit longer. This song is special because it was the winner in 2012, when Hubs and I watched it on my tablet in our HOT hotel room in France on our belated honeymoon, because when Sweden hosted the following year they had a chorus of Deaf kids signing along, and because...well, just watch it. Euphoria, by Loreen (who was in the Song Along from the Fire Saga movie and gives me goosebumps EVERY TIME I watch as she starts down that staircase). Enjoy.


Euphoria 
by Loreen

Why, why can't this moment last forevermore?
Tonight, tonight eternity's an open door
No, don't ever stop doing the things you do
Don't go, in every breath I take I'm breathing you

Euphoria
Forever, 'till the end of time
From now on, only you and I
We're going up-up-up-up-up-up-up
Euphoria
An everlasting piece of art
A beating love within my heart
We're going up-up-up-up-up-up-up

We are here, we're all alone in our own Universe
We are free, where everything's allowed and love comes first
Forever and ever together, we sail into infinity
We're higher and higher and higher, we're reaching for divinity

Euphoria
Forever, 'till the end of time
From now on, only you and I
We're going up-up-up-up-up-up-up
Euphoria
An everlasting piece of art
A beating love within my heart
We're going up-up-up-up-up-up-up

Forever we sail into infinity
We're higher, we're reaching for divinity

Euphoria, euphoria
We're going up-up-up-up-up-up-up
Euphoria
An everlasting piece of art
A beating love within my heart
We're going up-up-up-up-up-up-up
Euphoria, euphoria
We're going up-up-up-up-up-up-up

20 May 2021

Upcoming Appearance: ConCarolinas!

Launching 30 May 2021!
I will be appearing this year at ConCarolinas in Charlotte, NC as an author guest. The Con is 4-6 June 2021, and is in person this time!

So last year, ConCarolinas was completely virtual. I did one panel about strong women in history and how they influence our writing. I had a new book out, but nothing really came of it because it was virtual.

This year is a completely different experience. I will be on several panels. I will be in Author's Alley when I'm not on panels, signing copies of all my books including, hopefully, the one there in the picture. Darkness, the first book in the new Guardians of Orana series, releases right before ConCarolinas and I can't wait for folks to read it!

So come see me, grab signed copies of the Nature Walker Trilogy, the Tales of the Forest War, and Rift, and just enjoy the Con! Do note, though, that the Con is requiring attendees to wear masks in all indoor public spaces.

17 May 2021

Music Monday: No Roots

Most of the time, the songs I choose for MM posts are related somehow to my writing. Sometimes they are related to something happening in the world. But some of them speak to me, who I am, where I come from, and the like. This week's song is one of those.

The United Methodist Church has been in the news a lot over the past few years. The other day, I fell into a debate on social media concerning the North Georgia Conference of the UMC. One of the more prominent churches has recently been involved in a rather public tantrum over the minister being unwilling to accept a change in appointment. That is not how the UMC works - if you want to stay in a church forever, there are other Christian denominations. But what drew me out was a comment from a supposed fellow preacher's child who claimed that her upbringing involved being moved around willy nilly as a child with no explanation. If that was her experience then she needs to address that with her parents, not with the conference.

It led me to think about my own childhood - we did move about every four years until I was in high school. I learned early that if you try to hang on to your past it will just hurt. A lot. There were a lot of tears surrounding those moves - tears that served no real purpose. I was thinking about that when I heard this song, and it hit me. I've got no roots, but my home was never on the ground. Never.




No Roots - Alice Merton

I like digging holes and hiding things inside them
When I grow old I hope I won't forget to find them
'Cause I've got memories and travel like gypsies in the night
I build a home and wait for someone to tear it down
Then pack it up in boxes, head for the next town running
'Cause I've got memories and travel like gypsies in the night

And a thousand times I've seen this road
A thousand times

I've got no roots, but my home was never on the ground
I've got no roots, but my home was never on the ground
I've got no roo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oots
I've got no roo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oots
I've got no roots, but my home was never on the ground
I've got no roots, but my home was never on the ground
I've got no roo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oots
I've got no roo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oots

I like standing still, boy, that's just a wishful plan
Ask me where I come from, I'll say a different land
But I've got memories and travel like gypsies in the night
I count gates and numbers, then play the guessing game
It's just the place that changes, the rest is still the same
But I've got memories and travel like gypsies in the night

And a thousand times I've seen this road
A thousand times

I've got no roots, but my home was never on the ground
I've got no roots, but my home was never on the ground
I've got no roo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oots
I've got no roo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oots
I've got no roots, but my home was never on the ground
I've got no roots, but my home was never on the ground

I've got no roo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oots
I've got no roo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oots

I like digging holes
Hiding things inside them
When I grow old
I won't forget to find them
I like digging holes
Hiding things inside them
When I grow old
I won't forget to find them

I've got no roots
No roots

I've got no roots, but my home was never on the ground
I've got no roots, but my home was never on the ground
I've got no roo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oots
I've got no roo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oots
I've got no roots, but my home was never on the ground
I've got no roots, but my home was never on the ground
I've got no roo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oots
I've got no roo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oots
No!

15 May 2021

Notes from Exile: ...Exile?

Swatch...masks.
Well, that proverbial light seems to be shining, faintly, at the end of the pandemic tunnel. First, our governor (though I think that we're playing fast and loose with that word because it usually means someone in charge) decided on his own that the mask mandates were over and went so far as to ban the mandates. Thankfully, most businesses (outside of the school systems here) decided to keep their mask mandates in place, especially for indoor activities.

Well...on Thursday the Center for Disease Control announced that people who have been fully vaccinated - please hear that, FULLY VACCINATED meaning a complete series of vaccine jabs and the two weeks post-vaccination required for the mRNA to do their thing - no longer have to wear masks. I don't know how I feel about that.

Mind you, I don't love wearing a mask. It's one of the reasons I've stayed home and isolated for most of the past 14 or so months. So in that respect, I'm happy. I can be around my friends that are also vaccinated and not worry.  The big events, such as ConCarolinas in June, are still requiring masks for indoor spaces. I will probably still wear one when I go places like Costco and Trader Joe's because I don't know everyone there.

But what worries me most is that this relaxing of rules will lead to another spike. There are still too many folks that have not been vaccinated - some of them for ridiculous reasons and some for very legit reasons. Other countries are relaxing lockdowns but not mask regulations, and I think that might be the way to go.

For now, though, get your jab if you haven't yet. Wear a mask until you do and you are two weeks out from finishing that requirement. Wash your hands. Take care of each other. There's no room for selfishness anymore - we've seen what selfish can do, for the last 14 months, and I don't know about you but I'm over it. Completely.

10 May 2021

Music Monday: Road Trip Mix Tape

I heard this song in the car recently, and I was immediately transported back to many happy road trips during my uni days. Summer isn't really what it was back then - and not just because of the pandemic or the fact that I'm not in my early twenties or working at a summer camp. So it was nice, for a few minutes in the car, to sing along with this classic and pretend I was still 21, still naive, and still looking at that side of middle age.

Also, from now until we have to start being SERIOUS ADULTS AGAIN because it is AUTUMN and we are looking for CARDIGANS, Music Monday is going to take a hiatus in favor of Road Trip Mix Tape. Don't know what a mix tape is? Oh, my sweet summer child...it was a playlist, but because I'm old, we're going to go full-on nostalgia and call it a Mix Tape. Enjoy.




Southern Cross - Crosby, Stills, and Nash

Got out of town on a boat goin' to Southern Islands
Sailing a reach before a followin' sea
She was makin' for the trades on the outside
And the downhill run to Papeete
Off the wind on this heading lie the Marquesas
We got eighty feet of the waterline nicely making way
In a noisy bar in Avalon I tried to call you
But on a midnight watch I realized why twice you ran away

Think about
Think about how many times I have fallen
Spirits are using me, larger voices callin'
What Heaven brought you and me cannot be forgotten
Around the world (I have been around the world)
Lookin' (lookin' for that woman girl)
Who knows she knows (who knows love can endure)
And you know it will

When you see the Southern Cross for the first time
You understand now why you came this way
'Cause the truth you might be runnin' from is so small
But it's as big as the promise, the promise of a comin' day
So I'm sailing for tomorrow my dreams are a-dyin'
And my love is an anchor tied to you (tied with a silver chain)
I have my ship and all her flags are a-flyin'
She is all that I have left and music is her name

Think about
Think about how many times I have fallen
Spirits are using me, larger voices callin'
What Heaven brought you and me cannot be forgotten
I have been around the world (I have been around the world)
Lookin' (lookin' for that woman girl)
(Who knows love can endure)
And you know it will
And you know it will

So we cheated and we lied and we tested
And we never failed to fail it was the easiest thing to do
You will survive being bested
Somebody fine will come along make me forget about loving you
And the southern cross

04 May 2021

Notes From Exile: There was no circle, nor were there dots...

Quite possibly the worst pic of me, ever.
Well, I've done the thing. Two of the things, to be exact. That picture there is what I look like when I'm so scared that even my hair is trying to run away.

I have mentioned before my fear of needles - and to be honest it is also a fear of injections, my partner and I have figured out. With the first shot, I was more freaked out by the feeling of the vaccine actually going into my arm than the pinch of the needle.

I was NOT freaked out to get the vaccine because I am against vaccines. Not even a little bit. I don't understand the arguments against it that include fears of microchips in the syringe so that the government can track us - y'all, if you have a mobile phone, you're being tracked. I am not an anti-vaxxer. I'm just a big old chicken.

I want to share my experience because I have spent a lot of time looking up after-effects of House Moderna - none of them ended up being the undeniable urge to belt out Dolly Parton songs. I also want to encourage everyone to get vaccinated if you can, whatever vaccine is available to you. I know that I blogged before about waiting for the Janssen just because I wanted to do a one-shot rather than two, but my DayJob worked with a local pharmacy to offer the Moderna and help us get appointments, so I put on my big girl pants and went.

Since then I have had "Covid Arm" or welts that itched and were hot on my arm near the injection site, my arm is still sore, and I've had a few visual migraines. That's all. No debilitating symptoms like friends have had. And now, in just over a week's time, I will be fully vaccinated and able to breathe a little easier. 

It was much different than the cootie shot I mentioned in the title, but the cooties are different now. Get vaccinated if you can. We are all in this together, and we all need to do our part. And if you figure out how to trigger a mini-concert of Jolene at top volume, I'm ready.

03 May 2021

Music Monday: New Month, New Music

 It's May, y'all, and that can only mean one thing... THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST. To get in the proper mood, I watched the Eurovision Movie: the Story of Fire Saga and fell in love all over again. But the best part of my Europrep has come in the form of the soundtrack from that movie which includes this gloriousness: the Song Along. I was slapping the back of the sofa and shouting at the dogs, "Do you see that?? That was Loreena! LOOK IT'S JESSY MATADOR IS THAT JAMALA WITH THE LYRIC ABOUT WINNING THE WAR?" 

As you may have guessed, the dogs didn't answer nor care. But I do. Quick history: when I moved to the UK in 2009 I took my three greyhounds and my cat. One of my dogs died shortly after I got there, of osteosarcoma. The second one, her bonded pal and soulmate, left me, Daisy (greyhound number three) and the cat to mourn and cause my husband to wonder what he'd gotten into with his new American wife. He finally suggested that I should watch Eurovision because he thought it would cheer me up.

He was right. Eurovision is happy memories of doing a TIGHT 8 TO 10 on the train platform in Leeds. It is dancing with my workmates in the bookshop. It is searching for the BBC1 feed on the tiny telly in our hotel in Maison Lafitte on our belated honeymoon. I have missed watching it live since we've been back in the US and I'm again on the trail of a way to watch BBC1 with Graham Norton's commentary on the 22nd.

For now, enjoy the Song Along from the Eurovision Movie. It's everything that is fun and mad and glam about Eurovision, and it makes me smile (and get up and dance, but don't tell anyone).

Song Along Lyrics, including the performers in each section.

[Song 1: Cher – "Believe"]

[John Lundvik, Anna Obodescu, Both]

No matter how hard I try

You keep pushing me aside

And I can't break through

There's no talking to you

[Bilal Hassani]

It's so sad that you're leaving

It takes time to believe it

[Bilal Hassani & John Lundvik]

But after all is said and done

[Bilal Hassani, John Lundvik & Anna Odobescu]

You're gonna be the lonely one, oh

[Loreen & Jessy Matador]

Do you believe in life after love? (Sing with me, yeah)

I can feel something inside me say

I really don't think you're strong enough, no

[Song 2: Madonna – "Ray Of Light"]

[Loreen]

And I feel (And I feel) like I just got home

And I feel

[Loreen, Jessy Matador & Anna Odobescu]

Don't think you're strong enough, no

[Petra Nielsen, Anna Odobescu, Loreen & Jessy Matador]

And I feel (And I feel) like I just got home

[Petra Nielsen, Anna Odobescu, Loreen, Jessy Matador, Will Ferrell & John Lundvik]

And I feel

Quicker than a ray of light

Quicker than a ray of light

I really don't think you're strong enough, no

[Song 3: ABBA – "Waterloo"]

[Jamala]

Waterloo, I was defeated, you won the war

[Erik Mjönes]

My, my - at Waterloo, Napoleon did surrender

[Molly Sandén]

Oh, yeah - and I have met my destiny in quite a similar way

[Erik Mjönes & Molly Sandén]

The history book on the shelf

Is always repeating itself, woah

[Anna Odobescu, Loreen, Molly Sandén, Petra Nielsen, Jamala & Jessy Matador, Will Ferrell]

Waterloo, I was defeated and you won the war (You won the war)

Waterloo, promise to love you forevermore

[Song 4: Céline Dion – "Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi"]

[Elina Nechayeva & Conchita Wurst]

Ne partez pas sans moi

La joie d'être libre

Vous qui cherchez une autre vie

Vous qui volez vers l'an deux mille

Ne partez pas sans moi

[Song 5: Black Eyed Peas – "I Gotta Feeling"]

[Netta, Will Ferrell, Molly Sandén, Erik Mjönes]

Tonight's gonna be a good night

That tonight's gonna be a good night

That tonight's gonna be a good night

A feelin' (Fill up my cup, mazel tov)

(Do you believe in life after love)

That tonight's gonna be a good night (Look at her dancing)

(Quicker than a ray of light)

(Just take it off)

[Netta, Loreen, Molly Sandén, Erik Mjönes]

That tonight's gonna be a good night (I can feel something inside me say)

That tonight's gonna be a good night (I really don't think you're strong enough, no)

A feelin' (Quicker than a ray of light)

That tonight's gonna be a good, good night (Do you believe in life after love?)

[Will Ferrell, All]

A good, good night



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